I read all three books in less than a week.
On top of working two jobs, this was a feat, considering that each book was 400-600 pages. I completely devoured these books. Victoria Schwab (pseudonym V.E. Schwab) never fails to completely blow my mind with her writing, world-building, and characterization.
- A Darker Shade of Magic
- A Gathering of Shadows
- A Conjuring of Light
For starters, the concept is incredibly original. It takes place in Victorian-era London, in a universe where there are actually four Londons. There is Grey London (our London), Red London (magical London), White London (the scarier, more violent magical London), and Black London (which no longer exists). Kell is an Antari, a powerful magician who can travel between the four Londons. He meets Lila in Grey London, and her thirst for adventure leads her into the magical Londons alongside Kell. There’s Rhy, a promiscuous prince and Kell’s best friend/brother, Alucard, a cocky pirate, Holland, a tortured anti-hero, and several villainous characters that threaten the balance of power over the course of the series. I adored every character (especially Holland. The anti-hero thing gets me every time). Each one had their own voice, their own motivations, and their own backstories.
This series is filled with magic, adventure, a little bit of romance, and some serious tugging-at-heartstrings. If you’re one of the three people in the world who hasn’t read this series (kidding!) I highly recommend you pick up A Darker Shade of Magic!
I promise that you won’t be disappointed.